The Wake-Up-Early Experiment: Monday

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Thank you for participating in The Wake-Up-Early Experiment!

Like any scientific experiment, we need OBSERVATIONS. So, If you woke up extra early this morning, or if you planned to and chickened out, or if you have ever been an early riser in the past, I want to hear from you. Please leave a comment below answering some or all of the following questions:

  • How early did you get up compared to your usual wake-up time?
  • What did you do with your extra early-morning time?
  • How did you feel the rest of the day?
  • Will you continue the Wake-Up-Early Experiment through Friday?
  • Would you change your bedtime or morning strategy next time?
  • What other observations can you make about this experience?

My own Wake-Up-Early Experiment was relatively successful, with some hick-ups. First, as I was headed to bed last night at nine, my brother in Washington called and we talked until 11:30. When I finally got in bed at midnight, my son woke up with a wet Pull-Up. I didn’t actually go to bed until 12:30. 

Waking up was fine, though I was pretty tired. I worked out, but was too hungry to do a very good workout, so then I ate breakfast and took a shower. That’s when my second hang up happened. My bathroom shares a wall with my three year old’s bedroom, and the shower woke him up at 6:30, at which time he started to yell and knock on his door, resulting in waking up the baby. Thus, the ducklings were released early, stifling my plans to get some things done on the computer while the house was still quiet. 

Following the Rule Of Threes, I was quite tired and dragging, but with a lot on my to-do list today, I went against my better judgement and indulged in one of my twice-yearly Diet Cokes. Let me just tell you, Coke is stupid. I was still so tired after drinking that thing that I had to take a nap when the kids were down, wasting my precious quiet time. To top that, since I’m not used to drinking soda, I had a stomach ache. 

Overall, it was a positive experience and I do want to continue my Wake-Up-Early Experiment through Friday, but I’m going to change my strategy a bit. I will go to bed before ten. I will eat a small snack before my workout and save my shower until later when it won’t wake up the kids. I won’t drink any more Coke. I want to organise my time in the morning a bit better, too. On Friday, I will post a conclusion article and ask for more observations from those who continue the experiment throughout the week. 

Please leave your Monday Wake-Up-Early observations in the comments below. Thanks for participating!

The Wake-Up-Early Experiment

I have all these fantastic new goals I’ve made for myself, inspired by reading “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. I want to work out every day. I want to write a science fiction novel. I want to practice the piano daily. I want to do activities that, though they aren’t a priority to my family, are things that will help develop me and make me happy.

With my cute little ducklings always clamoring for attention, I don’t get a chance to focus on one thing longer than a couple of minutes uninterrupted. I can feel my ability to focus declining. By the time the kids are in bed for the night, my brain is toast and I end up watching TV for three hours. I don’t want to use my children as an excuse to miss opportunities that I should be taking advantage of.

I’d like to propose an experiment and invite my reader(s) to participate. On Monday, February 24, we’ll wake up early. We’ll use our early morning hours to do productive, positive activities that are hard to accomplish during our normal waking hours. Monday night, I will post a follow-up blog post, and I’d like to request any of my reader(s) who participated to post a comment on their experience. What I want to know is two fold: what did you do with your extra time, and how did you feel during the day? If our experiment is successful, we’ll extend it through the work week and will have one final blog post and discussion on Friday.

There are many obvious benefits to waking up early. A friend sent me Leo Babouta’s article called “10 Benefits of Rising Early” and it had a lot of good points. I spent a year in college waking up at four to study before my ADD would kick in. It was a great experience and I think it might work well applied to the life of a mom of young kids. How could waking up early help you? Have you ever tried it?

Lets try it together! Sunday night, have a hot bath, a cup of chamomile, turn off all the lights and glowing electronic screens and hit the sack early. Monday morning, lets all get up early, get some things done, and see what a difference it makes.

Who’s in?

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What I’m Not Afraid Of

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I think all too often we hold ourselves back because of fears and insecurities about ourselves. What do we really want to do with our lives? What do we want to be? Why do we voluntarily deny ourselves our potential to be great?

Rather than focusing on our fears, what if we focus on our confidence? What if we seek out our strengths and build on them, using them as a set point to ground our self esteem and from there, branching out to tackle our weaknesses. What if we change our attitudes from “I can’t because…,” to “I can because…”?

Each of us has a unique variety of strengths. Each has a different set of things they are not afraid of. If we were to compile a list of these things, it would be an interesting view of how we see our own positive attributes and perhaps help motivate us to continue forward in our progress.

Here’s my list:

  1. I am not afraid of air travel
  2. I am not afraid of how people I don’t know view me
  3. I am not afraid of someone kidnapping/murdering me, though I am still cautious
  4. I am not afraid to show weakness
  5. I am not afraid of swear words, though I rarely speak that way
  6. I am not afraid to express my opinions if asked
  7. I am not afraid to exercise
  8. I am not afraid that my husband will ever leave me or mistreat me
  9. I am not afraid to eat vegetables
  10. I am not afraid of public speaking or music performance
  11. I am not afraid of teenagers
  12. I am not afraid that others will disagree with me
  13. I am not afraid to try “Do It Yourself” projects
  14. I am not afraid of starving to death
  15. I am not afraid of people with tattoos
  16. I am not afraid of not knowing, though I’m certainly curious and likely to make up my own theories
  17. I am not afraid to research hard subjects and find answers that lead to more questions
  18. I am not afraid of small dogs
  19. I am not afraid to spend a little extra money on something that will be useful and last a long time
  20. I am not afraid to say no

There are 20 items on the list. Some are there because of my external situation: I won’t starve to death because we have enough money to eat. My husband won’t leave me because he’s a very solid guy and I have no reason to doubt his dedication or his affection for the kids and me. Some of the items on the list are there because of my own life experiences: I’m not afraid of public performance or people with tattoos because of my musical background. But I think the most significant things on the list are the internal ones, those that are part of my personality. They give me the strength to be me. I don’t have to accept the world the way others say it is. I don’t have to dress a certain way or be ashamed of myself when I don’t have the right personality to suit someone else.

I feel like, in some ways, I’m a confident woman, sometimes pushing arrogance. I, surprisingly, (SURPRISE!) have some very apparent weaknesses, but focusing on those will only make me doubt myself, which usually leads me to be less efficient and eat more chocolate. Being a stay-at-home-mom in this day in age, I feel like I’m constantly defending my parenting style, my outlook on life, my personal beliefs, and my choices to the mass of noise on the internet. The world is full of “don’ts” and “can’ts” and “supposed tos” and “anything you do will kill your child”. Everything is working against my sense of confidence in myself, and frankly, I’m just not interested in self doubt anymore. I’m stronger than that.

I hope that reading about what I’m not afraid of will make my reader(s) think about what they’re not afraid of, and inspire them to be stronger, more effective people.

What aren’t you afraid of?